Additional measures to prevent H5 avian influenza in view of the recent situation in Southeast Asia

Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection has taken additional measures to prevent H5 avian influenza in view of the recent situation in Southeast Asia. It has been maintaining close contact with the World Health Organisation over a family cluster of H5 avian influenza in Thailand.

While investigations suggest human-to-human transmission may have occurred, evidence indicates that transmission of the virus among humans has been limited to family members and that no wider transmission in the community has occurred. Continued vigilance is needed to determine whether the epidemiological situation in humans remains stable.

The Department of Health today informed airlines to make arrangements to broadcast health messages on flights from Thailand and Vietnam advising passengers with flu-like symptoms to approach medical posts at the airport for assistance. Health messages will also be broadcast more frequently at the airport advising travellers to avoid direct contact with poultry and birds.

The centre has also started sending letters to all Hong Kong doctors updating them on the latest avian flu situation and remind them to be vigilant against the disease. Doctors are required to report any suspected case.

Health information is also being sent to the travel industry. The latest information and health advice on avian influenza for travellers is available at http://www.news.gov.hk

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